Sleep is very important to the human bod.

We need sleep in order for our bodies to rest and give our minds a chance to process all the information it has received during the day.  The average human spends around 25%-35% of their life asleep, so you can see how vital it is.  If we don’t get enough sleep, it could lead to a range of health issues, including death.

For many years we’ve been led to believe that there’s a certain number of hours sleep we all need.  However, people vary in terms of how much sleep they need.  While some are quite happy to get by on four or five hours, some people just can’t function properly unless they’ve had a minimum of eight hours sleep per night.  For many migraine patients, either too much or too little sleep can trigger more migraines.

Just because the sleep duration is good, doesn’t mean to say the quality of that sleep is.  Fragmented sleep is not good for you and just a slight disturbance can upset your sleep cycle enough to cause headaches, drowsiness, poor memory, mood issues and more.  Understandably, people get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, and this tends to get more frequent as we get older.  But, it’s not necessarily because our bladder is full.  Instead, we are woken by some other random reason but our bodies think that as there’s something in the bladder it must be that.

Another problem some people have when sleeping is their pets, but they don’t always realise it.  As adorable as they are, our pets can interrupt our sleep quite easily, so if you let your pets share your bed but often wake up feeling groggy or like you’ve had very little sleep, you may want to try sleeping alone for a few nights.  Many people have reported having a far better night’s sleep if they leave their pet in another room.

A slightly more serious sleep condition is one called sleep apnea and is where a person literally stops breathing when they’re asleep.  When this happens the brain is being starved of air and oxygen and it can be extremely dangerous.  When a snoring person makes a sudden explosive snorting sound, often this is because they’re gasping for air as their brain realises it’s being starved of oxygen.  Sleep apnea not only affects the person suffering with it, but also the person they share their bed with.

Not everyone with sleep apnea recognises they have a problem.  It’s often their partner that brings it to light.  And even then, they may become defensive and argue they’ve always slept like that.  But, not getting enough sleep is a little like having too much alcohol.  It’s fairly easy to recover from a heavy night when you’re in your 20s, but consume the same amount of alcohol on a night out when you’re 50 and you’re likely to suffer a lot more the following day.  The same goes for not getting enough sleep.

Sleep apnea not only causes headaches, mood swings, reduced motivation, and memory loss, if left untreated, it can lead to heart attack, dementia, and stroke.  So, if you are in any doubt or someone else may have mentioned something it might be worth getting yourself checked out just make sure there are no underlying issues to be concerned with.